PBS Announces Release Date, Specs For New NOVA DVD

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has been one of the world’s most polarizing points ever since it was first started up in 2008. While the concerns that so many people had have been allayed since then, the LHC still has not revealed the long-speculated Higgs-Boson Particle, or “God Particle” to researchers. Though, researchers have found a particle in their efforts that is a starkly close match to the Higgs-Boson Particle. Now this spring, scientists with CERN are set to restart the LHC and restart their research. As they prepare to start what is the world’s largest atom smasher, PBS will release NOVA: Big Bang Machine.

NOVA: Big Bang Machine will be released on DVD Tuesday, March 17th. The hour-long episode of PBS’ hit science-based series looks at the LHC, its history including what made it such a hot button topic, and expectations for its next startup. Audiences can check out a clip from this episode of NOVA online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfJBUJMywPs. The DVD will retail for $24.99. It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store fora reduced price of $19.99 at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=nova%20big%20bang%20machine&origkw=NOVA+Big+Bang+Machine&sr=1. It can also be ordered in a combo pack that also includes a wristwatch for $49.99. The combo pack will retail in stores for $68.94.

More information on NOVA: Big Bang Machine and other episodes of NOVA is available online now along with all of the latest NOVA news at:

Website: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NOVAonline

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Secrets Of The Dead Examines One Of Its Most Intriguing Mysteries To Date In New DVD

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Benjamin Franklin is considered to be one of the most revered figures in America’s rich history.  He is one of the nation’s founders.  He is also considered one of the nation’s great philosophers.  He is also thought of as one of the country’s great inventors among many other titles.  But is it possible that there was a darker, more sinister side to Benjamin Franklin? Or could it have been someone else?  The unearthing of twenty-eight sets of human bones from Franklin’s residence in December 1997 has left many wondering these questions. That’s because another man named William Hewson lived at Craven Street. Hewson had his own intriguing background, which left even more questions.

Now PBS is “digging deeper” into the mystery of the remains in a new episode of its history-based series Secrets of The Dead titled Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones. PBS Distribution will release Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones on DVD on Tuesday, March 17th.  It will retail for $24.99.  The program focuses on the discovery of the bones during renovations done on Franklin’s residence in December 1997 and their potential link to both Franklin and the mysterious William Hewson. The renovations were part of a project to turn the residence into the Benjamin Franklin Museum. When examined, the bones dated back to the mid-1700s, right around the time that Franklin would have lied at the residence on 36 Craven Street.   The findings were made by Professor Simon Hillson, of the University College London.  Hillson is a specialist in the biology and history of human remains.

Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones runs approximately sixty minutes. It can be ordered direct online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=57131096&cp=&sr=1&kw=secrets+of+the+dead&origkw=Secrets+of+the+Dead&parentPage=search. Audiences can check out a clip from this episode of Secrets of the Dead online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pkQeQJU9eU.

 

More information on this and other episodes of Secrets of the Dead is available online now at:

 

Website: https://pbs.org/secrets

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SecretsOfTheDead

 

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Adrenaline Mob Celebrates New EP’s Release With New Slate Of Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Century Media/Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media/Century Media Records

Hard rock band Adrenaline Mob is hitting the road this Spring in support of its new EP Dearly Departed.

Adrenaline Mob will join Drowning Pool on the road from March 12th to April 3rd as part of Drowning Pool’s “Unlucky 13 Anniversary Tour,” which is in support of the recent re-issue of Drowning Pool’s 2001 debut album Sinner. The tour kicks off Thursday, March 12th in Daytona Beach, Florida and winds down Friday, April 3rd in Dallas, Texas. The complete tour schedule is listed below. While fans wait for the tour to come to their town, they can check out the videos for the EP’s title track and the video for the band’s cover of The Charlie Daniels Band’s hit song ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ online via YouTube. Both songs are included on Dearly Departed. They can be viewed via YouTube at:

Dearly Departed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe51dozTkOM

The Devil Went Down to Georgia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjbD0izEFBE

After checking out both videos, fans can also go online and order Dearly Departed via Century Media’s online store now at https://www.cmdistro.com/catalog/adrenaline+mob. Fans can also download Dearly Departed online via iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play at:

iTunes: https://smarturl.it/MobDDiTunes

Amazon: https://smarturl.it/mobDDamazon

Google Play: https://smarturl.it/AmobDDgglply

Adrenaline Mob tour dates with Drowning Pool:

3/12 – Daytona Beach, FL @ Main Street Station – Daytona Bike Week

3/14 – Jacksonville, FL @ Beach Blvd Concert Hall

3/17 – Clarksville, TN @ The Warehouse Bar & Grill

3/19 – Baltimore, MD @ Fish Head Cantina

3/20 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance

3/21 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom

3/22 – Beckley, WV @ Muncheez

3/24 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar

3/26 – Fredericksburg, VA @ Hard Times

3/27 – Lancaster, OH @ Mickey’s Bar

3/28 – Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop

4/1 – Laporte, IN @ Johnny’s Roadhouse

4/2 – St. Louis, MO @ The Mad Magician

4/3 – Dallas, TX @ Trees

Also tapped as a support act for the tour is Full Devil Jacket. The Jackson, Tennessee-based four-piece is the latest addition to eOne’s artist roster. It is set to release its new album Valley of Bones this spring.

More information on Adrenaline Mob, including all of the band’s latest tour dates and news is available online at:

Website: https://adrenalinemob.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrenalinemob

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rock Super Group’s 2014 Debut Getting Proper U.S. Release This Spring

Courtesy:  MVD Entertainment Group

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

It may only be January. But rock collective The Bullhounds is officially giving American audiences good reason to think warm. That is because the band will release its debut album Protector this spring via MVD Entertainment Group.

The members of The Bullhounds are no strangers to the music business. Guitarist Peter Stroud has performed and recorded with both Sheryl Crow and Pete Droge & The Sinners. Drummer Mauro Magellan and guitarist Rick Richards both spent time with the famed Southern rock band Georgia Satellites. Richards also spent time alongside Guns N’ Roses founding member Izzy Stradlin in his own solo career. Magellan also joined bassist Keith Christopher as part of Keith & The Satellites. Singer Erling Daell rounds out the band’s lineup.

Protector was originally released overseas in May 2014. The album’s U.S. release can be pre-ordered online from MVD Entertainment Group’s website at http://mvdb2b.com/s/TheBullhoundsProtector/BASTARD001?utm_source=The+Bullhounds+%22Protector%22+will+be+one+of+the+purest+rock%27n%27roll+records+in+2015&utm_campaign=Bullhounds&utm_medium=email. And while audiences wait for the album’s U.S. release date, they can check out the video for the album’s lead single ‘Make It’ online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3oGabJotw8 to get a feel for what the band has to offer audiences. More information on The Bullhounds is available online along with any tour schedule updates at:

Website: http://www.thebullhounds.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheBullhounds

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Like A Storm’s Upcoming Album Burns Bright

Courtesy:  Another Century Records

Courtesy: Another Century Records

When Century Media Records founder Robert Kampf announeced late last year that he was forming the fledgling label Another Century, the announcement was met with a mix of surprise and excitement both by those inside and outside the label. The reason being that in founding Century Media so many years ago, Kampf had founded a label that has since become known as one of the leaders in the worlds of hard rock and metal. So founding a label that focuses mainly on more mainstream acts was seen by many as a bit of a gamble. That gamble has since paid off as Kampf padded hisnew label early onby moving two hugely popular bands from Century Media’s roster to that of Another Century. The bands in question that were moved over are Fozzy and Otherwise. Their move was then followed by the addition of Awaken The Empire, The Bloodline, and Rev Theory. Now Another Century has added another band ready to break out in the form of thehard rock trio Like A Storm. The New Zealand-based band of brothers is set to release its Another Century debut album Awaken The Fire on Tuesday, February 24th. And if the album’s first two singles are any indication, Like A Storm has more than proven why it is another good addition to the young label’s lineup. The band’s cover of Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ is just as interesting an addition to the album. It isn’t a verbatim cover. And that perhaps is what makes it so interesting. And for those that want something softer, the band offers its share of ballad-style songs on its new record, too. All things considered, Awaken The Fire proves in the end to be one of the first breakout rock records of 2015.

Like A Storm has yet to release its Another Century debut record Awaken The Fire. But well ahead of the album’s release, the up-and-coming hard rock trio has already proven itself just as hard rocking as its radio ready American counterparts thanks to the release of the album’s first two singles. The first of those singles ‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ is metaphorical and musical middle finger to certain types of people who live to point their fingers at and judging those not like themselves. As front man Chris Brooks sings of those people, “I don’t care if I’m not good enough for you/And I don’t care if I don’t live the lie you want me to/And I don’t care what you want to think of me/Cause all you want/Is everything/That I don’t want to be/You say/I’m a freak/I say I am free/Come take a shot at me/I love the way you hate me/You say I’m insane/I say you’re afraid/I get stronger from the pain/I love the way you hate me.” The argument is driven home even more thanks to the song’s companion video in which Brooks and his brothers are surrounded by a group of extras whose faces are painted to look like skeletons. The extras interact with the band proudly donning their facepaint and relatively ragged atire as a way to illustrate the song’s lyrics. The coupling of the song’s lyrics with its companion video is just one way that the song proves itself a fitting addition to Like A Storm’s latest release. The song’s musical side is just as impressive.

The musical side of ‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ plays its own role in the song’s enjoyment. Audiences will hear in listening to the song that the brothers Brooks paid close attention to even the most minute detail of the song’s musical side. The way that the song builds from brooding to full on assault in each verse and chorus will impress any hard rock fan. The song’s bridge is perhaps the most interesting section. That is because of what seems like quite the influence from Tool thanks to the use of the digeridoo and the Danny Carey style drumming set against Matt and Chris’ guitar work. That combiantion of each element sounds like something that was lifted right from the band’s hit song ‘Forty-Six & Two.’ It’s buildup to the song’s final section and that section put the finishing touch on the song, proving once and for all why this song was a perfect first choice to introduce Like A Storm to mainstream audiences.

Not too long after the release of ‘Love The Way You Hate Me,’ the brothers Brooks released the second single from Awaken the Fire in the form of ‘Wish You Hell.’ This song is another excellent example of what makes this album so enjoyable. It starts out with a little southern bayou style sound before launching directly into the song’s full-on first verse in which Chris Brooks takes on the topic ofa rather nasty breakup. He sings in this song, “Take that knife outof my spine/And you’ll know you got the best of me/For the last time/Save your precious little lies/I won’t waste another moment/In the wake of your demise/So long/You ripped my heart away/Oh, lord/I wish you hell!” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Take one minute of your time/Look at the wreckage of the ones you’ve left behind/Face one lesson/A lesson never learned/You’re gonna get what you deserve/I wish your hell.” Brooks leaves no doubt as to the song’s message. Brooks paints here a solid anti-pity picture with his words. They are words that are sure to have a strong impact on any listener. Those lyrics set against the song’s driving musical side, it is no doubt that this song will instantly become a fan favorite once the album is released.

Both ‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ and ‘I Wish You Hell’ are prime examples of what Like A Storm has to offer on its upcoming record. Both songs are sure to be fan favorites if they aren’t already. White both songs are sure to be fan favorites in their own right, the band’s cover of rapper Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ is sure to get just as much reaction from listeners. The song is not a verbatim cover of the original. The song’s musical side is largely the same. But some of the song’s lyrics have been tweaked slightly at points. At others verses have been shortened to even out the band’s take on the hit song. The end result is still a song that is just as enjoyable for audiences as the album’s current singles. Whether for those singles or this song, audiences will agree that these three songs alone will indeed awaken (or light) a fire under them to give this record a chance.

For all of the heaviness boasted throughout Like A Storm’s new album, the band also offers its own share of softer material at points, too throughout the record. Audiences will especially enjoy the powerhouse ballad ‘Break Free,’ which is essentially a person’s cry free. That is evidenced as Brooks sings, “All I want is to break free/From everything/Break free before it breaks me/There’s got to be another way/To start again.” Unlike so many other ballads out there, this isn’t just another nihilistic, oh-woe-is-me type song. Rather it presents a figure at the end of their proverbial rope but not entirely without hope. It is truly a powerful song and one more that perfectly lives up to the album’s title. ‘Southern Skies’ is just as moving as is ‘Ordinary.’ The ballads noted here are just as certain to move audiences as the album’s heavier moments. The ability to move listeners in so many different ways throughout the course of all of these songs shows great potential and talent from the members of Like A Storm. It shows once more why Awaken the Fire is an easy, early pick for one of the best new hard rock albums of 2015.

While Awaken The Fire won’t hit store shelves until late next month, audiences can still keep up with all of the latest updates from the band online in the meantime at:

Website: http://www.likeastorm.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/likeastormofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

“Blood In Blood Out” Is Exodus’ Best Record To Date

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast America/Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast America/Nuclear Blast Records

Exodus is one of the metal community’s most legendary acts.   The Richmond, California-based band has been making pure metal for the masses for well over three decades. In that time, the band has seen its highs and its lows, like any band out there. This past October, Exodus reached another high when it released its latest album Blood In, Blood Out. The album, the band’s tenth full-length studio release is arguably the band’s best work to date. One could say that that is thanks to the return of front man Steve Souza. It could also be that the band produced this album itself, essentially keeping full creative control within the band’s ranks. Regardless the end result of Blood In, Blood Out is an album that every purist thrash metal fan will thoroughly enjoy and an album that is just as deserving of a spot on this year’s list of the best new metal albums as those from Overkill, Anti-Mortem, and fellow thrash metal kings Machine Head among so many others. The album’s lead single and title track is proof of that. The song is a battle cry of sorts from the band letting audiences know in on uncertain terms that Exodus is most certainly back. ‘Collateral Damage,’ the album’s third track is more proof that Blood In, Blood Out is the band’s best work to date. It is a socio-politically charged piece that attacks those in the higher echelons of the world’s political and economic machines. On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, the band offers up a piece in ‘My Last Nerve’ that every listener will appreciate. It goes after those people that are so quick to make life miserable for everyone around them. All three of these pieces are clear examples of what makes Blood In, Blood Out Exodus’ best album to date and one of the year’s best new metal albums. If they are not enough for listeners, there is also a commentary on the inhuman acts of violence committed against innocent lives by certain Muslim extremist groups in ‘Honor Killings’ another social commentary in ‘Salt The Wound’ and even a rather interesting commentary on the atrocious acts of the BTK Killer among much more throughout this album. Again, these songs taken into consideration with the others noted here (and those not noted) result in an album that every metal purist will appreciate.

It goes without saying that Blood In, Blood Out is the best work that Exodus has released in the course of its three decades-plus long life. It is a thrash record that takes audiences back to thrash metal’s heyday. That is evident right from the album’s lead single and title track. The song is the perfect lead-off for the album with the pummeling attack of drummer Tom Hunting and shredding of guitarists Gary Holt and Lee Altus. Front man Steve Souza adds his own touch with a vocal style that easily matches that of Overkill front man Bobby Ellsworth. He sings in this song, “We’re throwing down the gauntlet/Chomping at the bit/About to lay down the law/Show you all the way/Bear witness to Genesis/Of the violence the way it was back in the day/We’ve been here from the start/With a one track mind/We kept the hate alive/Always had the power/Now is zero hour/Tonight we’re gonna fight like it’s 1985.” The reference to 1985 is an obvious reference to the band’s 1985 debut record Bonded By Blood, to which many fans have compared this record stylistically speaking. It could also be argued that it’s a pun in reference to a famous Prince song. That opening verse is a statement to all of the purists and psuedo-metal bands out there that currently permeate the metal community. Souza goes on with his attack singing in the song’s chorus, “Dive in or bow out/If you have the pedigree/Welcome to the family/All in or all out/Half way, no way/Give it all you’ve got/We wrote the book so you’d better know the plot/New breed, old creed/Let’s see what you brought/This s&*$ has turned into a rout/Blood in, Blood out.” Souza and company leave nothing to doubt here. This is a full-on first salvo from Exodus in its new album. And it hits its target full force. Audiences can check out the song’s official companion video online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c69S3pD8qI. The official lyric video is also available online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfu94oJ1so8.

Blood In, Blood Out’s lead single and title track was the perfect choice to re-introduce the band to the metal legions around the world. It is a full-on musical assault from the band, proving right off the top why this album is the band’s best work to date. Another good example of what makes this album such a hit for fans is the album’s socio-politically charged opus ‘Collateral Damage.’ As with the album’s lead single, this piece is another excellent throwback to thrash metal’s heyday. That same dual-guitar assault coupled with Tom Hunting’s drumming and Steve Souza’s shredding vocal style drives the song from start to finish. The song’s socio-politically charged lyrics make the song even more hard-hitting. Souza sings in this song, “Blitzkrieg, insurgence/Under the thumbs of the powers that be/Conflict, tension, unlawful detention/They don’t give a f&*) about you or me/We are all just collateral damage/the s%&$ they step in on their way/Just puppets used to their advantage/To chew up and throw away.” Yet again, Souza and company leave no doubt as to the message being sent here. It’s a nice change of pace from all of the bands out there whose members love to write in metaphors, thus leaving many to misinterpret said bands’ songs. There’s just as little doubt left in the song’s closing verse as Souza sings, “Illuminati of the one percent/We chase their carrot on a string/Wall street deceit all stuck on repeat/Peons serving to the kings/To them it’s all just a natural selection/A birth right of gluttony/Like a kind of Immaculate Conception/Of inbred conformity.” Taking that verse and the song’s opening verse into consideration, it’s obvious that this song is a protest and a call to action. The band is bringing to people’s attention what is going on around us and to us as a result of the people in the world’s upper echelons of politics and economics. The band’s members are saying that people need to be aware of this and start standing up to those people and their institutions that are controlling the world. Such a powerful message set against an equally powerful musical backing makes Blood In, Blood Out even more of a hit for fans of this veteran thrash metal band.

The socio-political commentary contained in ‘Collateral Damage’ and the full-on musical assault of ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ are both key examples of what makes this album Exodus’ best work to date. There is also a commentary in ‘My Last Nerve’ that will impress audiences just as much as those previously noted songs. The commentary in question goes after those people that seem to live to make the lives of everyone around them miserable. Musically speaking, this song isn’t the full throttle attack of ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ or ‘Collateral Damage.’ But even being a little bit slower, it still boasts as much power as those songs and those not noted here. Souza sings in this piece, “I’m so irritated/Being kicked to the curb/Every time you open your mouth/You try to get in the last word/Those who live in glass houses /Should not be throwing stones/It all comes crashing down/You never left well enough alone.” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “So many excuses/Always laying the blame/You’re always pointing the finger/Adding fuel to the flame/Another slander, another slur/Another hollow apology/So many verbal abuses/Believe your own mythology.” These are words to which anyone can relate metalhead or not. Everyone has dealt that person or even those people who will step on everyone else to get to the top. Those that will throw others under the bus every chance they get. They are the same ones that make every excuse as to why it’s everybody else’s fault that this or that event goes awry. This is a universal topic. And the members of Exodus have handled it expertly in this song both musically and lyrically. It is just one more reason that Exodus’ fans new and old alike will enjoy Blood In, Blood Out.

‘Blood In, Blood Out,’ ‘Collateral Damage,’ and ‘My Last Nerve’ are all excellent examples of what makes Exodus’ tenth full length album well worth the listen by any metal purist. They are collectively just a sample of what makes this album so enjoyable by any purist metalhead and thrash metal fan. The politically charged attack of ‘Honor Killings’ is another example of what makes this album so hard hitting. The band tackles the atrocities committed by the various Muslim extremist groups in the Middle East against innocent lives in this song. And ‘Salt The Wound’ is lyrically along the same lines as ‘Last Nerve.’ There is even an interesting commentary on the equally atrocious acts of the BTK Killer and the shocking revelation of who turned out to be in the end. In the grand scheme of things, it is a commentary about how we as people think we know someone but in reality we really never know as much as we might think. Whether it be that song, the politically charged ‘Honor Killings,’ the social commentary of ‘Salt The Wound’ or the topics covered in the album’s other tracks, every listener will agree that every one of these songs (including those not noted) combine to make Blood In, Blood Out Exodus’ best album to date, especially when considered alongside the songs’ musical content.

Blood In, Blood Out is available in stores and online now and Exodus is currently on tour in support of the album. The band is scheduled to perform at The Palladium in Worcester, MA today and at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ tomorrow. It will make stops in Philadelphia and Cleveland over the weekend. Audiences can check out Exodus’ latest tour dates and keep up with the band’s latest updates online now at:

Website: http://www.exodusattack.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exodusattack

Twitter: http://twitter.com/exodusattack

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Zodiac’s “Sonic Child” Is Another One Of 2014’s Most Surprisingly Enjoyable Pure Rock Records

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records/Napalm Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records/Napalm Records

When Prosthetic Records added Zodiac to its roster two years ago, it went without saying that doing so was something of a gamble for the label.  It was such a gamble because much like Century Media, Metal Blade, Roadrunner, and others, Prosthetic is known more for the “extreme metal” bands that make up its roster than for the likes of the Munster, Germany-based band.  That’s not to say that Prosthetic sticks primarily to that more extreme sound.  Acts such as Niacin and Felix Martin both stand out among Prosthetic’s other acts.  Zodiac however has become the label’s most commercially viable band since Lamb of God was signed on with the company.  Zodiac’s mix of blues-based and neo-stoner rock has helped the band to stand out among its label mates ever since the release of its 2012 Prosthetic Records debut A Bit of Devil.  Now with its third full-length studio effort, Zodiac has one again set itself apart from its label mates and grown just as much musically.  From the slow blues-based opener ‘A Penny & A Dead Horse’ to the more up-tempo neo stoner rocker that is ‘Holding On’ to the equally catchy closer ‘Swinging on the Run,’ this record proves to have not one bad moment.  It proves to be one of the year’s most surprisingly enjoyable rock records and one that any rock purist should hear at least once.

Sonc Child, Zodiac’s third full-length studio effort, is by and large the band’s best work to date.  With its mix of blues-based and neo-stoner rock sounds, this record proves to be one that every rock purist should hear at least once.  Right off the top, the band grabs listeners without really trying in the album’s opener ‘A Penny and a Dead Horse.’  The twelve-bar blues churned out in the song’s “A” section conjures thoughts of Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, and so many of the forefathers of the blues.  Anyone that is a fan of Fireball Ministry, Black Stone Cherry, and other bands of that ilk will enjoy the more straight forward neo-stoner rock sound of the song’s “B” and “C” sections.  Lyrically, the song is just as enjoyable.  Vocalist Nick van Delft sings about an unnamed woman that has left a man, and left him with basically nothing.  Thus the song’s title.  van Delft sings of the woman, “Oh, woman/Where have you gone with that/Pot of gold/Oh, woman/Where have you gone/You had to leave me/Before the break of dawn/Somebody been haunting you/Somebody run you down/Over the yonder/Beyond the fields/Someone call your name/Oh, woman/Where have you gone/Sweet darlin’/You left me to die alone/With a penny and a dead horse.”  van Delft paints such a vivid picture thanks to the way in which he sings these lines.  The gradual tempo increase as the song progresses makes that picture just as vivid.  The picture goes from a man sitting alone in the darkness, perhaps drinking from a bottle of cheap whiskey to someone who feels something stronger as he and his band mates sing, “So long, so long” in the chorus.  The song’s final strains exhibit perhaps the man’s collapse.  This is of course just this critic’s own interpretation on the song.  Audiences can check out the song’s official video online now at the Prosthetic Records website at http://store.prostheticrecords.com/products/531769-zodiac-sonic-child-cd.  While there, audiences can also order Sonic Child, which was just recently released at the end of September.

‘A Penny & A Dead Horse’ is a wonderful addition to Sonic Child. It is also just one excellent example of what makes this album such a surprisingly enjoyable record.  ‘Holding On’ is another solid example of why this record proves to be such a surprisingly enjoyable rock record.  Where the album’s opener almost tells its own story, ‘Holding On’ is more of a straight-forward rock song.  It harkens back to rock and roll’s golden era much like Black Stone Cherry, Fireball Ministry, and others of that ilk.  van Delft sings against drummer Janosch Rathmer’s solid timekeeping and fellow guitarist Stephen Gall’s own work, “What is the point of your life/Your life/All covered up in those eyes/Those eyes/So now free mind/You’re one of a kind/Take a hold of the good things/And give sight to the blind/Tell me the one thing you see/Tell me the one thing you know/Show me the one thing you live for/Holding on.”  This set against the song’s opening verse in which van Delft sings, “Time keeps on ticking/Revealing your patience/It’s only a matter of self-defense/Eager to please/Your only disease/It’s just the weight on your mind/A day of your life/A step on your way to return” makes the song especially interesting.  There is a seeming message about each one of us having a meaning in life and it being just a matter of finding that meaning.  Again, that could be completely wrong.  Hopefully it is right, though.  Regardless, the very fact that it could lead to such deep thought serves to make this song all the more enjoyable.  The guitar solo in the song’s final movement adds even more enjoyment to the whole work.  Between that impressive guitar work, the deep, thoughtful lyrics and the overall talent displayed here, ‘Holding On’ shows again why any rock and roll purist should give this record at least one listen.

Zodiac shows throughout the course of its latest full-length release why this record is just as good as any album released by its bigger-named counterparts.  That is evidenced in the songs previously noted here.  From its more blues-tinged rock to its more neo-stoner sound, there is not one moment that disappoints on this record.  There is almost something of a more modern rock and roll influence in the album’s closer ‘Swinging on the Run.’  Much like the album’s opener and other tracks on this disc, ‘Swinging on the Run’ is not one for anyone with a short attention span.  This track clocks in at just over six minutes.  It’s not the album’s longest work.  that honor belongs to the aptly titled ‘Rock Bottom Blues.’  That song comes in at just over the nine minute mark.  And anyone that is a fan of the likes of The Allman Brothers Band will especially enjoy this piece with its smoky, old school blues-rock sound.  Getting back to ‘Swinging on the Run,’ audiences can clearly hear influences from the likes of The Allman Brothers Band, Cream, The Doobie Brothers, and so many others that have come before as the song progresses.  It shows a good song doesn’t necessarily always need lyrics to be enjoyable.  that being the case, it makes perfect sense why it was chosen as the band’s final statement on this record.  It leaves audiences knowing that they have experienced something very special.  It leaves listeners knowing that along with those tracks noted here, and the remaining seven not noted, they have in Sonic Child an album that is just as deserving of respect from rock purists as any album released by the band’s more well-known counterparts.  And given the right support from listeners and radio programmers alike, it could become just as big a record as those released by said bands.

Sonic Child is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct from the Prosthetic Records online store at http://store.prostheticrecords.com/products/531769-zodiac-sonic-child-cd.  More information on Sonic Child and all of the latest updates from Zodiac is available online at:

Website: http://www.zodiac-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Zodiac.Rock

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